Whats wrong with the colors on my canvas?

Hi people! Just joined the
drawmixpaint forum and I have one
big question after trying my first very
own painting. Once l have mixed my
colors (they look right) and then go to
paint on the canvas..they look so off,
so different! my bright yellow looks so
dull and green! Am painting from a
photograph so if l apply some paint
on the photograph to see if the color
matches (like Mark did), it looks good
but on my canvas, it looks dull, thin,
dirty...and l can see some of the
brown stained canvas if you look
carefully. Tell me what am l doing
wrong? is my paint too thin? or can l
stain the canvas white? cz my colors
are not bright and they look like they
are changing.. I didnt get venice
turpentine in my country so l just
used a regular medium from the art
store,is that okay for painting.
Thanks in advance


  • I agree with Denis. Every time I start a painting I think just what you did, but you need to keep within your color parameters, as close as possible, and when you are through you will be happy with the results. If your paint is too thin, add a little more pigment at a time until you get the consistency that works for you.
  • What brand of paint are you using, if student grade it may be quite transparent - very difficult to work with!
  • Precisely what @dencal said

    Now I'm off to google "flummoxed"
  • Thanks for your replies. @denical l live in Kenya, Nairobi. I would love to try venice turpentine. I will start a new one and follow those steps. This one looks abit dull when l put the photograph next to it.@oilpainter1950, yea all add more pigment and be patient. @Mark, nice to meet you. cant wait to perfect your technique. I use Winsor and Newton from the local art store. It looks good when l've mixed the color and its blunky on the palette but when brushed on canvas, its lighter and transparent. I will try another brand or what could be up?
  • Wanjau

    OK I can't find any venetian turpentine in Kenya. Try ordering it through your local art store. Probably best to order from overseas, if you get about 120 mls you can mix almost a litre of slow dry medium, that will last a year or two. It is expensive around $60 -$80 Aust. I can recommend the Lucas brand from Germany.

    You could wait until Mark makes Geneva Paint available to international customers.

    Equine Venetian Turpentine (to heal and harden hooves) is usable but you need to know what your getting (100% Larch Resin), while around about $25 Aust a half litre, it is often a blend of various liquids.

    Make sure you are using W&N Artists Oil Colour.

    You could try W&N Artisan water mixable paint with the specially formulated mediums (don't use water) or with any other medium for that matter.


  • Thanks Dencal, I appreciate it. I have ordered some venice turpentine and hopefully I will get it soon.I was actuali using W&N water mixable paint, I will use W&N oil color paint and see the difference it has.
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